Eurovision 2016 Entry: Russia – Sergey Lazarev – You Are the Only One

Sergey Lazarev's "You Are the Only One" is the current favorite to win Eurovision, but will people want to vote for Russia?

Sergey Lazarev will represent Russia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Eurovision.tv) Sergey Lazarev will represent Russia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Eurovision.tv)

Country: Russia
Song Title: “You Are the Only One”
Artist: Sergey Lazarev
First Semi-Final: Position #9
Last year’s entry: “A Million Voices” – Polina Gagarina (2nd Place)

You’re not even reading this. You’re either looking at the photo up there or watching this video for the dozenth time today. We’re all friends here: let’s watch Sergey Lazarev’s video for “You Are the Only One” together:

Before you hit the replay button again, let’s chat a bit about Russia and their Eurovision chances this year. Spoiler: they are quite good. I hesitate to say they have this locked up for a few reasons:

  1. Acknowledging this is the favorite and we should accept this pop music cold war between Sweden and Russia is super boring for our purposes here at telESCope.
  2. This is Russia we are talking about, which is still openly hostile toward the membership of a significant portion of the Eurovision fanbase. Is that fanbase willing to hold its nose while sending televotes Russia’s way?
  3. Sergey Lazarev’s health may be a concern. He needs a break before landing in Stockholm.

Despite these caveats, Russia’s streak of finale appearances is in zero danger of ending. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Malta are the only real challengers Sergey Lazarev has in the semi-final. In the running order, Russia is between San Marino and Czech Republic, which seems almost cruel to those two countries. Even though there aren’t a lot of former SSRs in this semi-final, it’s not like Russia was ever here to make friends.

The final is where things will get tricky, particularly with televoters. Now that there is a new scoring system in place, Russia could feel the consequences of their anti-LGBT and other human rights stances. Is sex appeal and talent enough to get the communities who would not be welcome in Moscow or St. Petersburg to hold their noses and vote for Russia?

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016

ArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBosnia & HerzegovinaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicEstoniaFinlandGreeceHungaryIcelandMaltaMoldovaMontenegroNetherlandsRussia
San Marino

A Word from Google Ads

  • Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would definitely not be welcome in Russia, and yet this song is my favorite of the contest so far. I’ve been strongly anti-Russia at Eurovision for years, but this song grabbed me immediately the way Love Injected did last year. I even remember saying to myself upon first listen: “Oh no! I’m not supposed to like Russia!”

    If the staged version can capture the energy and drama of the music, I’d almost certainly give it douze points, and I think a whole lot of others will as well.

  • I like this one, but I ultimately think I’d like to finish in a close 2nd or 3rd behind one of the other front runners this year. Agreed that the staged version somehow needs to capture the energy of the music and the promo video.